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The Woman Behind Thanksgiving

November 24th, 2016 by stephanie

Looking for something “new,” or, screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-11-04-13-ambetter yet, something besides politics to chat about at Thanksgiving dinner this year? Why not throw this patriotic piece of trivia into the table conversation mix.

While listening to our pastor at church last night (Thanksgiving eve) I was interested to learn that a woman may have been behind our beloved 4th Thursday in November proclamation made by President Lincoln.

Apparently, Sarah Josepha Hale may be the “woman behind the man” in this particular holiday instance.

Hale, a native New Englander, grew up celebrating Thanksgiving each year and was known for writing published works about the holiday. However, you and I will remember her mostly for penning the children’s poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb,”—which in time became a song we grew up singing.

Yet her writing was not merely literary. She was so passionate about this concept of giving thanks that she lobbied state and federal officials requesting they consider passing legislation of a national day built around it. The impetus was in hopes that by doing so, the act would bring the country’s citizens together and help alleviate the cultural tensions of the day. Alas, a Civil War soon followed anyway.

pieYou can read more about her story. (I am sure you will have some time to google it today.) But for now, just know you might have a fresh talking point to go with that pie and coffee.

Thankful for you readers, and wishing you a lovely, peaceful and restful day…


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And thanks!

Turkeys, Thanks and Togetherness

November 26th, 2015 by stephanie

New Hampshire military journalists maintain togetherness while adjusting to changes in Iraq [From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository]

New Hampshire military journalists maintain togetherness while adjusting to changes in Iraq
[From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository]

It’s a lovely day from where I’m sitting. The sun is shining, the turkey is thawing, the breakfast casserole, the coffee and the bacon are finished (and they were yummy), the pup is enjoying the fantastic weather in the backyard, and I guess one couldn’t ask for more. Life is good.

I began the morning assessing all of the “good things” God has done for me, and the wonderful things I enjoy. It’s a great way to start any day. Actually, each morning during my “quiet time” I have a leather bound book that I list things God has done for me—things for which to be thankful. A “thanks” journal of sorts.

Yet, with all this sentiment, I have to admit, as I turned on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, I did hold my breath. The crowds. The children. New York. Post-Paris events… In the light of the world that we live in these days, we do tend to move forward with a bit fear and trepidation. Life can change in a moment, and you can find yourself living a very different path than the one for which you planned.

Sometimes we live life that way. Holding our breath, waiting for the next proverbial “bad” shoe to drop. We live thinking, If I just don’t expect good things, I won’t be disappointed. Hmmmm

In truth, if we’re honest, life doesn’t usually go just as planned anyway—exactly. I’m not sure about you, but when I wake most mornings I think, “Wow…this isn’t the life I thought I’d be living. But I’m so blessed. And it’s good.”

We are told to be grateful in all things. Even when the tough times come and hit hard. Sometimes, that is so easy to do. Other times, not so much. I personally think when people are having a rough go, you listen, let them hurt and just offer a hug, and maybe some good Mexican food. And you stick around. You check in. You walk with them. I am not a fan of asking people to buck-up or get over it. Probably never will be. To get through anything, it takes togetherness. And if truth be told, that’s one of the things that our country is celebrating today—being together.

Just like the Pilgrims who landed on our shores quickly discovered that their journey was nothing like the one they could have envisioned or planned for, they stuck it out, held together and in doing that helped to bring forth the nation that we enjoy and love.

If your journey has taken you down paths you didn’t expect, just know you are not alone. You’ve made it this far, and you will make it even farther. I promise. Find or create some togetherness today. And, as you spend time with loved ones, be sure to focus on the good things, and then, celebrate the being together part.

Personally, I think that’s the perfect recipe for a fabulous Thanksgiving.

Just my thoughts


PS: Thanks to all of our military and first-responders “on-duty” here and abroad. We are grateful for you today!

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